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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Saturday 28 October 2017
Taunton Town v Merthyr Town
2 - 1

There was a Buildbase FA Trophy upset at the Viridor Stadium as the Peacocks dismissed higher level Merthyr.  Although the home side found themselves two goals up after an hour, they had to absorb some concerted pressure to secure victory after Merthyr had reduced the arrears.

Manager Leigh Robinson made two changes from the team that had taken on Slimbridge three days earlier, Ben Palmer replacing Ross Staley at left wing back whilst new signing Matt Buse took over from Les Afful.  A deceptively strong breeze again had an impact on the afternoon, with the home side having the wind behind them as they attacked the Invest Southwest End in the first half. Apart from a Ryan Brett shot though which sailed high over for the hosts, it was the Martyrs who bossed the early possession without creating any chances.

The Peacocks nosed ahead after ten minutes. Buse was brought down several yards outside the box but well within striking distance for Ben Adelsbury. His free kick was kept out by Oliver Davies but squirmed along the right touchline where Dan Sullivan retrieved and lofted the ball back in for Matt Wright to head home from eight yards.

Ian Traylor’s free kick at the opposite end proved an easy gather for Lloyd Irish while Brett Trowbridge cleared a dangerous cross from Kerry Morgan as Merthyr continued to pass tidily without hurting Town who nearly doubled their score when Sullivan latched onto a long throw but his high lob from the left of the box hit the side netting. A lovely phase then ended with Wright laying the ball off to the off-balance Sullivan who managed to net but was flagged offside.

Pierce Mitchell and Sullivan both had strikes blocked as the Peacocks looked to inflict more damage while Brett’s shot was parried by Davies who just managed to push away before the incoming Buse. The fragile one goal lead then came under threat as the first half drew to a close, Morgan squaring the ball across for former Forest Green, Hereford and Luton striker Stuart Fleetwood to scoop against the bar from point blank range.

There was soon controversy when play resumed, Merthyr being aggrieved that Brett’s challenge on Morgan was inside the area and not on the edge as adjudged by referee Burley. Further hopes of an award for the visitors were then sunk when Curtis McDonald was booked for diving. Town saw out the flurry and again menaced the opposition goal. Sullivan cut in for a shot that was blocked and collected by Davies, and Buse volleyed a Mitchell cross over.

However Town’s endeavours paid off on 54 minutes when a surging run from Ollie Chamberlain found Mitchell out wide and when Morgan handled the cross, Adelsbury stepped up to fire home from the spot. Wright could have made the tie safe a couple of minutes later when he latched onto a clearance and although his lob cleared Davies it went wide of the target.

The visitors made a double substitution which helped improve their fortunes. After Irish had fielded an awkward strike from Traylor, one of the new introductions Mo Touray arrowed a drive past the far post.  A free kick from Adam Davies was then only partially cleared and Eliot Richards claimed the loose ball to rifle a half volley past Irish from the edge of the box to rekindle away hopes.

The game was then disrupted by an unsavoury incident which saw Merthyr manager Gavin Williams run over to the home touchline and forcibly push Brett down who was shepherding the ball. This sparked off a fracas involving both sets of players and benches and when matters had calmed down, the Martyrs boss was sent from the dugout.

The Martyrs heaped on the pressure as they sought at least a replay back in South Wales. Keeper Irish turned a free kick from Richards wide whilst another set piece from Traylor floated narrowly over. Owen Irish then headed clear a goalbound hoist from Corey Jenkins  as the Peacocks refused to yield.  Wright was unable to connect properly with a Sullivan cross when Town managed to get upfield but the hosts saw out the final minutes to claim a notable victory and more welcome funds in the coffers.     

By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Ben Palmer, Shane White, Brett Trowbridge (Owen Irish 79), Ben Adelsbury, Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (captain) (Ross Staley 86), Dan Sullivan, Matt Buse. Unused subs: Les Afful, Michael Meaker

Merthyr: Oliver Davies, Adam Davies (Scott Tancock 82), Curtis McDonald, Ashley Evans (captain), Kyle Patten, Jarrad Wright, Kerry Morgan (Mo Touray 59), Jaye Bowen (Corey Jenkins 59), Stuart Fleetwood, Eliot Richards, Ian Traylor. Unused subs: Robbie Patten, Kyle Copp        

Referee: Timothy Burley (Redruth)

Assistants: Mark Hosking (Penzance), Matthew Carney (Falmouth)

Match and Matchball Sponsor: Peacocks Prize Bingo

Attendance: 456


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